In December 2011 three Trustees and the President of KASIN visited the Phulkharka Valley in Nepal which is a remote area 10 hours travelling by 4×4 vehicle from Kathmandu, mainly on dirt tracks. There is local water supply to most areas of the valley but no electricity and no public transport, though it is hoped that a bus to the town of Dhading, about 4 hours away, will soon be provided.
We visited 2 Higher Secondary Schools, 2 Lower Secondary Schools and 4 Primary Schools, all of which gave us a tremendous welcome. There are 3 more Primary schools in the valley that we did not visit.
The schools are staffed by enthusiastic and dedicated teachers who are working under extremely difficult conditions, some of whom have received no teacher training. Some of the teachers are employed by the Nepal Government and some are paid by the local communities. The communities are all very supportive of the schools, realising the importance of the education of today’s children for the future of their valley.
The main problems facing the schools are quite varied but include no electricity, leaking roofs, crumbling walls, no water, no toilets, poor classroom furniture and very few teaching resources, including text books, science equipment, PE equipment etc..
All schools provide a nursery class because it is the custom in families in Nepal that once children reach the age of 3, they are cared for by older sisters or brothers so that the mothers can work on the farm. If the older siblings cannot take the young ones with them to school, they cannot attend themselves.